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Friend of Mine

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Album Review

Recorded in the wake of the collapse of Stax Records in 1976, Friend of Mine brushed up against a long fallow period in Little Milton's recorded output, and was also unavailable for many years, thus making it one of his least-known albums. Produced by Milton for Henry Stone's TK Records and issued on the Glades Records imprint, this is a soulful blues workout drenched in sweaty vocals and long, sustained performances, of which perhaps the best is the five-and-a-half-minute "You're Gonna Make Me Cry," which also includes some impressive guitar. The record's strongest body of songs are the smooth soul ballads such as "Baby It Ain't No Way," the rousing "Don't Turn Away" (a song that one wishes Elvis Presley could have discovered and considered covering), "I'm in Love With My Best Friend's Wife," and "Bring It on Back," but it also includes one really hot lament, "Sundown," that crosses into soul territory without compromising its solid blues credentials. There's a lot of solid playing here, by bassist Bernard Reed and guitarists Danny Raye and John Bishop (and Milton), among others, and the Haywood Singers give excellent singing support. This album and its immediate follow-up, Me for You, You for Me, represent the bridge between Little Milton's Stax and Malaco recordings, both chronologically and stylistically.

Biography

Born: 07 September 1934 in Inverness, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

He may not be a household name, but die-hard blues fans know Little Milton as a superb all-around electric bluesman -- a soulful singer, an evocative guitarist, an accomplished songwriter, and a skillful bandleader. He's often compared to the legendary B.B. King -- as well as Bobby "Blue" Bland -- for the way his signature style combines soul, blues, and R&B, a mixture that helped make him one of the biggest-selling bluesmen of the '60s (even if he's not as well-remembered as King). As time progressed,...
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Friend of Mine, Little Milton
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